MANILA, Philippines ? The once international caliber football field at the Rizal Memorial Stadium will be restored by the end of the year, said Philippine Sports Commission chairman Harry Angping.
Angping vowed to raise P20 million from the private sector and some P30 to P40 million more from the government to rebuild what was once the centerpiece arena at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
Angping, who began refurbishing the infrastructure inside the sprawling sports center, said the government allocation would come from a special fund to be earmarked by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
?We?re planning to transform the track oval into a football field by the last quarter of the year,? said Angping yesterday.
The football field inside the RMSC hosted all major tournaments of the sport and some international matches since the 1930s.
When a new tartan track was laid out at the oval for the country?s initial hosting of the Southeast Asian Games in 1981, the venue became a hub of activity for athletics and the football field?s condition slowly deteriorated.
National athletes presently training at the track and field oval will be relocated at Philsports in Pasig City or at the PSC training center in Baguio City.
?The weather and training conditions in Baguio are far more conducive. I think our athletes can train better there,? said Angping.